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            Mediums and Techniques           

                     Medium:                 The medium is the substance or material with which an artist chooses to create
                                                   and build his art, i.e. watercolor, crayon, pastel, oil, etc.

                    Mixed Medium:        Mixed medium is exactly what it sounds like. It's a work of art that utilizes more
                                                   than one medium, i.e. watercolor and pastels.

Until recently, my medium of choice has been transparent watercolor. Most traditional watercolors are applied to various types of papers. Depending on the type and texture of the paper, different techniques can be achieved. A few years ago, a "canvas" for watercolors was introduced. (Canvas has been traditionally associated with heavier mediums, such as oil). The surface of this new canvas is the difference. The surface of all canvas has to be prepared with a material called "the ground." It's sort of like a special base coat. Most traditional grounds reject watercolors because they are prepared for oil type mediums. The new watercolor canvas is prepared with a special water absorbent "ground." This allows the paint to be absorbed and stick. The finished art can then be matted or framed under glass like a traditional watercolor or the artist can choose to apply several coats of clear UV acrylic glaze. This locks in the pigments and protects the art from moisture and ultra-violet light discoloration. It can be framed without matting or glass and, in many cases, have the appearance of an oil or oil wash.

Several years ago, I ordered some of these new watercolor canvases and began to paint. At first, I was disappointed. They didn't behave like my good old 140 pound watercolor paper. The texture was different. The paint was being absorbed, but at a much different rate than I was used to. Delicate, dry brush strokes were no problem, but bold washes of color looked much different. For the next several months, I retreated to my old, faithful watercolor paper. Occasionally, I would pick up another small canvas and try again ... with the same results and the same frustrations. Strangely, though, I was fascinated by the way this alien in my studio responded to some of my brush strokes and techniques. It was not what I expected, but it was beginning to grow on me. Of course it doesn't behave like watercolor paper ... it's canvas! I began to evaluate my painting process and started to rethink my approach. Things I could never do on paper were not only possible on this new surface, it loved it. The more I experimented, the more I became excited about the possibilities.

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